Like my attractive best friend in high school, mobile phones get all the attention whilst humble landlines get no love and become bitter tech bloggers. This may be an imperfect analogy.
Gigaset want to give the landline little love and specialise in trying to bring cutting edge design and technology to the market. I got to play with their new SL910A to see if the future of the landline wasn’t just “not having a landline“.
The Gigaset SL910A certainly looks great. The combination of glass and metal screams “premium” and it’s shiny in all the right places. I popped it on the corner of my desk and instantly felt bad about not living in a trendy Brooklyn loft. However using the SL910A is a little odd. It certainly feels better than the vast majority of landlines. But it also feels worse than the vast majority of smartphones. It’s an unfair comparison – the average unsubsidised smartphone costs 3 or 4 times as much as the SL910A so I can’t expect it to be as good. But that’s my rational brain. My fingertips demand the same experience and have a hard time masking their disappointment. It’s also hard to wrap my head around a lack of certain features, such as internet access or VoIP. I obviously don’t need to browse the web on a landline, but the ability to chat over Skype or Viber, or message via What’s App or GTalk etc might have been nice.
The 3.2” touchscreen is big, bright and fun to look at. But the responsiveness again doesn’t quite match a smartphone and is a tiny, tiny bit laggy. But still looks and works better than the (non-existent) touchscreen on my existing house phone. The screen savers alone look great and you can upload your own images or use one of the built-in clocks. I was worried about the effect this was having on my electricity consumption but the supplied ECO DECT technology has surprisingly good green credentials and specialises in reducing power consumption.
But what else does the SL910A bring to the table – apart from a certain sense of style and hints of an inferiority complex. There’s an integrated answer machine that can store 55 minutes of messages. It can also send and receive SMS (although you may need to set this up with your landline provider). The massive screen makes it easy to access a variety of information – there’s a built-in phone book that can take up to 500 vCard entries and you can customise a ringtone and image. It’s also easy to see things like missed calls and previously dialled numbers – things I take for granted on my mobile. And it doubles up as a baby monitor which is handy if you have little ones.
The SL910A is available to buy from John Lewis, Dixons, Amazon and Ligo.
Prices start from: £139.99
Full details available from Gigaset